On The Rocks (1)

Woman on the rocks at the sea

The soft night breeze gently touched her hair as she walked down the stairs towards the beach. She pulled the long, over-sized cardigan closer around her body. It was mid-summer, but there was a chill in the midnight air. Victoria stepped onto the sand and bent down to take off her shoes. She smiled and shivered with a mixture of delight and chill when her bare feet touched the cold sand. Whenever she could, Victoria walked without shoes, whether at home, on holiday or here on the beach in the middle of the night. She did not walk towards the sea, but headed to the dark rocks that formed a natural barrier between this small private beach and the bigger tourist beach on the other side.

Even though Victoria smiled when she walked onto the beach, she was not in a happy mood. Her thoughts kept on drifting towards her impossible situation. She had not been able to sleep properly for weeks and even though she had played out several scenarios in her mind, she still did not have a solution for her problem. What should she do? She had lost count of how many times she had asked herself this question. Victoria still did not have an answer. Circumstances were forcing her to make a decision soon.

She slipped her shoes back on when she got to the rocks and carefully climbed onto them. She sat down on the same spot as where she had been sitting every night for the last week. Staring out over the sea, hearing the waves breaking against the rocks below, she hoped to find an answer.

“Good evening,” a soft male voice said behind her.
Victoria turned towards the voice, startled. Her dress caught on the rocks and she head the tearing of the material, but gave no attention to it.
“Oh please, don’t be frightened,” said a man that sat about two meters from her, leaning against the rock she was sitting on.
“I’m sorry,” Victoria apologized.
“I should apologize,” the man said, “I am the one who is invading your spot.”
“Oh no, ” she protested, “this spot is free to anyone.”
“I did not think you would come tonight,” he spoke again.
Victoria looked with a quizzical expression on her face and he continued speaking.
“You are later than you normally are.”
“Have you been here before?” she asked.
“Not here, but down there on the beach. I didn’t want to intrude.”

It was quiet for a while.
“Do you want me to go?” the man asked.
“No.”
Silence settled in again.
“I’m William. Will for short,” he said.
“Victoria,” she answered and reached over to shake his outstretched hand.
“Pleased to meet you, Victoria.”
She just smiled.
“Are you here on holiday?” Will asked.
“No… eh… yes… sort of,” Victoria stammered.

Her answer was so full of doubt and hesitation that Will instinctively understood that she did not want to talk about it. Victoria felt tears stinging in her eyes. It was difficult to admit to herself why she was here, let alone admitting it to a man she did not even know. She appreciated that he did not ask any other questions. The silence between them was not uncomfortable, but still Victoria felt obliged to talk.
“I need to sort some things out… in my head… I need to… before I can go home again. I need to think about what…” she stopped talking. She had always believed that she should solve her own problems and not involve or burden others with it.
“You don’t have to tell me, Victoria,” William said.
“Thanks.”

It was close to 1am in the morning that Victoria bid William good night and walked back to the house she rented for six weeks. She locked the doors behind her and sagged down on the couch. She could faintly make out the white froth of the waves below at the seashore, but other than that everything was dark. She could not help to think of the man she had just met out there. Had he been watching her in the last week? How else could he have known that she was on the rocks every night? Granted, she was on the beach much later than she normally went down there. From where had he been watching her? What was he doing on the beach? Did he live here? Was he here on holiday or maybe on business? Victoria was curious to know more about him, but she knew she would avoid him. There was no place for a man in her life. Not now. No matter how interesting William seemed and how obvious the unmistakable pull towards him was, she should not get involved with him.

Tears stung her eyes. Her life was such a mess! She stood up and walked to the kitchen to make herself a cup of hot chocolate. Back on the couch she pulled the blanket over her and settled in. Since she had arrived here, she had not slept in the bedroom. She could not bear sleeping alone in the big bed.

To be continued… On The Rocks (2)

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